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The Emperor of Abyssinia receives a blunt warning to release his European hostages or face British military action

Britain and British Affairs, iconic image

Emperor of Abyssinia Téwodros II had for several years been trying to secure aid and equipment from Britain since he feared Muslim encroachments on his Christian domain from the north.  Considering himself ignored and betrayed, he took most British diplomats, missionaries, and businessmen in his kingdom as hostages. This did gain the attention of Queen Victoria's government and after other diplomatic attempts had failed, the British foreign minister on this day communicated to Téwodros a blunt warning to release all hostages or face military consequences.  He failed to comply, was ultimately invaded and overcome by a strong British expedition, and committed suicide one year and three days later in April 1868.  (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

"Abyssinia," The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1867 ... (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1870), 3-5.